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Trinidad and Tobago pledges support to regional health and tourism study

Trinidad & Tobago Tourism  Feb 02, 2016

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad - Trinidad and Tobago is one of six countries in the Caribbean which has pledged support for the implementation of a regional project aimed at developing health monitoring systems and standards to enhance Caribbean tourism and protect the health and safety of visitors and locals.

Officially launched at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Headquarters on January 27, the “Regional Tourism Health Information, Monitoring and Response Systems and Standards to Enhance Sustainable Tourism” project is being financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and will be executed by CARPHA, in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Health and Tourism Association (CHTA) in Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

"The health of Caribbean economies is closely related to the health of its tourism industry given that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world," said Dr. Lisa Indar, program manager for regional tourism and health at CARPHA.

Designed to address health, safety and environmental threats, the project is considered a priority for the Caribbean as the overall aim is to improve the region's capacity to provide cost-effective, quality health and environmental products associated with tourism.

The fundamental purpose of the project is threefold:

• to develop a regional tourism health information, surveillance, monitoring and response system (THMRS);

• to produce credible regional HSE tourism standards with accompanying certification; and

• to establish a training program to build capacity in food and environmental safety.

The project will be implemented through a Project Coordination Unit (PCU) and a Regional Project Steering Committee, along with national focal points and a private-public team in each participating country. The PCU will be located within CARPHA, and is expected to have direct responsibility for the execution of the project.

The Regional Project Steering Committee will comprise key stakeholders related to the tourism and health sectors including CARPHA, the International Development Bank, CTO, the Caribbean Hotel Association, regional Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and Permanent Secretaries.

With the proposed reorganization of the health agenda and repositioning of regional public health responsibility, CMOs are tasked with coordinating the project steering committees and managing the implementation phase in their individual countries.

“The concept of well-being tourism is now a strategic priority for many regions and the TDC is excited by the prospect of partnering with CARPHA to advance sustainable tourism and support the health of the Caribbean population and its visitors,” said Keith Chin, TDC’s Chief Executive Officer.

At a national level, the Tourism Development Company Limited will be one of the stakeholder groups tasked with facilitating implementation of the project in Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidad & Tobago is located in the southeastern region of the Caribbean. With its careful approach to tourism, the dual-island nation offers a distinct blend of culture, eclectic cuisine and an assortment of eco-adventure activities. Trinidad, the ‘cultural capital of the Caribbean,’ is home to the world famous Carnival and the birthplace of the steel pan, the only new musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century. It is also home to one of the world’s top three nesting sites for endangered leatherback turtles and world class fine flavored cocoa. Tobago, sister island to Trinidad, is the quintessential Caribbean paradise with secluded beaches, quaint villages, private villas and award-winning eco-attractions that include the Main Ridge Rainforest, the oldest protected reserve in the western hemisphere and the six-time award winner for World’s Leading Ecotourism Destination by the World Travel Awards.

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Trinidad and Tobago pledges support to regional health and tourism study

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